Residents are urged to avoid tick bites after the owassan virus was reported in Massachusetts

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The town of Sharon recently confirmed a case of the potentially deadly Powassan virus.
The town’s website says this is the first time Powassan has been reported in Sharon, and residents are urged to take precautions against ticks.
So far in 2024, two reported cases of the virus are being investigated in Massachusetts.
The Powassan virus can be fatal.
Powassan virus symptoms According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Powassan “causes a rare, but often serious disease.”
The symptoms typically begin between one week and a month after a tick bite.
How to protect yourself from Powassan Powassan is spread by black-legged ticks, also known as deer ticks.
The best way to prevent infection is to lower your chance of a tick bite.


SHARON: There have been reports of an uncommon tick-borne illness in Massachusetts. Recently, the town of Sharon verified that someone had contracted the potentially fatal Powassan virus.

According to the town’s website, Powassan has never been reported in Sharon before, and locals are advised to take preventative measures against ticks. Regarding the afflicted individual, no information was disclosed.

Massachusetts is currently looking into two of the virus’s reported cases as of 2024.

The Powassan virus has the potential to be lethal. A fifty-year-old man from Maine became infected last year, experienced neurological symptoms, and ultimately passed away from the disease.

signs of Powassan virus.

As stated by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Powassan is responsible for a rare and frequently dangerous disease. In the past ten years, the state has diagnosed sixteen cases.

The majority of those exposed to powassan will never become ill, but some may suffer from meningitis or encephalitis, which is an inflammation of the brain.

Fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, loss of coordination, disorientation, difficulty speaking, and seizures are among the symptoms, according to DPH. Usually, a week to a month after a tick bite, the symptoms appear.

This severe form of the disease has a 10% fatality rate, and survivors may experience long-term health issues, according to the agency.

People who require hospitalization due to severe symptoms, however, are more vulnerable.

Dr. Goudarz Molaei, director of Tick-Borne Illnesses at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, states that approximately 40% of patients who get the disease and wind up in the hospital die from it before they can be treated. “Those who do not succumb to the virus may experience neurologic symptoms that become chronic. “.

Powassan has no known cure or effective treatment.

Techniques for defending against Powassan.

Black-legged ticks, sometimes referred to as deer ticks, are the vector of powassan. More widespread viruses like Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis are also transmitted by these ticks. Because of the warm winter of 2024, it is anticipated that there will be more ticks than in 2023.

Powassan is more easily transmissible than Lyme disease, which is concerning. A tick must bite a person for 24 to 36 hours in order to spread Lyme disease. A tick only needs to bite for 15 to 30 minutes to spread Powassan, according to Molaei.

The best defense against infection is to reduce your risk of being bitten by a tick.

The DPH advises wearing long, light-colored clothing, using repellent with DEET when outdoors, and hiking only on designated trails. Additionally helpful is tucking pant legs into socks. If someone believes they may have been exposed to ticks, they should also take a shower and check for ticks.

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